2020-05-07 - No Cupcake for FUBAR and SNAFU


One year later, there's a cupcake floating atop the goldfish tank's water rather than a ring submerged, but life is still wonderful at the household of Rogers and Barnes.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 7 02:51:23 2020
Location: 58 Water Street - Apt 602

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Theme Song



It is approximately about…two hours and forty-three minutes EARLIER than precisely a year, but apparently, Steve is the only one counting. Barnes had been sent on a wild goose chase most carefully framed to keep him from the apartment's interior for at least a handful of hours and the Captain continues glancing at the clock. He's calculated that his other half will probably show up fairly soon now, either genuinely annoyed at not finding the jar of cinnamon sticks Steve very specifically asked for OR…having realizing that the company who manufactured the cinnamon sticks doesn't exist anymore. Also, neither does the sourcing site for those cinnamon sticks.

Regardless, Steve now has the table set up nicely with candles in the center, a collection of bread out in a lined dish along with butter, softened, and a bottle of wine ever so specially ordered sneakily months ago. He's in a mint-green button-down and jeans, less formal than last year, but still coifed and freshly-shaven. In the oven, lasagna, two glass pans of it, bubbling merrily away and nearly finished, made by himself with exacting care.

And floating on the surface of the goldfish's tank? A single cupcake, lit with one candle, in rich clove-chocolate cake with cool mint-chocolate frosting, wrapped in a silver-foil cup. Both FUBAR and SNAFU lip at the base of the float, not disturbing it but for how it floats about.

Except that this is Bucky, who used to be past master of sourcing the unsourceable. So he comes in with a little paper bag in hand, bearing the logo of some place in Chinatown that deals in rare imports and exports. By his expression, he is SO PROUD of himself….

Only it dissolves into the look of someone who is sure he's just been had. Like a jealous Husky, all dark brows and cynical pale blue eyes. "Steve," he calls. "How many times I gotta tell you they're in training for the next soccer season? You keep feeding 'em chocolate, they gonna get fat." To the fish, themselves, he says, snagging the cupcake, "Don't get any ideas, you little bastards, he's mine."

Then he's heading into the kitchen, grinning. "Look at you, Mister Chef."

"Cupcake's not for them," hollers back Steve even as he looks up with burning match still in his hand. The tall candles are only just lit now, their wicks catching, and he remembers to shake out the match only when the heat of the flame gets close to his fingers. He grins, the expression soft rather than bright or sharp. "'s'for you. 's'been a year, y'know, since…"

Tucking his chin, he then bashfully looks up from under his brows even as he walks back into the kitchen to check on the lasagna. "Since you thought it was a betta toy in the tank," he continues with laughter in his tone.

"Yeah, even I have my slow moments." It's that warm smile that's been reserved for Steve for decades, there. "I know it's not the formal anniversary, but….really, it's the one that counts," Buck allows, as he sets the cupcake down to come meandering over and cup his husband's face in a hand, bending in for a kiss. "I like that you did this, Stevie. Thanks."

Returning the kiss, the blond super-soldier then brings his other half in for a gentle hug. It's easy to wrap arms around the width of the Soldier's torso and he sighs as they linger for just a short while — at least, until the timer beeps. Laughing quietly to himself, Steve then pulls back and turns to press the off button.

"Food's about done if you want to sit. Or no, here," and he turns to open the cabinet and pluck out two wine glasses by the stem. "Here: pour out. You might recognize the bottle." Again, grinning because the wine has been hidden for months, Steve then dons an oven mitt. He pauses, however, in his stoop at the sight of the small bag.

"…you actually found those cinnamon sticks?" he asks, more than likely giving away the fact that it was supposed to be a means to keep Barnes out of the apartment while he prepped.

A lingering, foot-popping kiss it is, savored deliberately. "I'd been wondering why you thought you could hide a bottle of wine above that ceiling panel, but once I realized you'd put it there, I thought for sure you meant it as a good surprise." God, he's *infuriating*…as is the little smirk he gives him, sly and heavy-lidded. "I'm a good hunter, Steve…"

But then he is pouring things out, carefully.

Still quarter-stooped by the oven, mitted hand still readied to fetch lasagnas, the Captain stares at his oldest comrade. Pink touches his ears. He then scoff-laughs and shakes his head, now opening the oven and leaning back to allow the updraft of dry, hot air to miss him. It fills the kitchen with a rich scent of Italian food.

"'f course…me, figuring I could hide it from you." Bucky gets a wry grin, enough to flash teeth. "Or set you on something impossible to find." Out come both glass baking trays of lasagna, bubbling around their edges, lightly crisped atop. Steve takes a step back to eye them, fists on his hips, and then nods curtly to himself. Yes: you done good, he thinks to himself.

He sheds the mitt and collects up the small glass jar of cinnamon sticks, the better to get them put away into the spice cabinet and the better to turn in time to see the wine glasses filled. "Perfect. Let the pasta cool for a few, we'll serve up, 'nd then eat." Walking over, he takes up the wine glass. "To you, «chroi croga», 'nd putting up with a ring in a fish tank."

The dimples are absolutely sunshine-bright.

For all the years he was frozen, both physically and emotionally….for all the stoicism imbued by an impoverished upbringing and years of war…Buck's still a big softie. And the blue eyes start to brim with tears, and he does that ridiculous thing he does with his lip that's been a sure tell that he's trying not to cry since they were both in knee pants and flat caps. Also ignore the suspicious blinking.

"Smells good," he says, when he can speak, grinning a watery version of his usual grin. "I mean, Steve, I got you. I hunted you down. And if I could get you, you can be sure I'd get the spices you sent me out for." He lifts his glass, in turn. "Here's looking at you, kid," he quotes, unable to help himself.

There's that twitch of Steve's own lips, the tug to one side in accompaniment with a duck of head in clear manner of composing himself. He glances up in time to see the watery grin and his ears pink all the more.

"Lookin' at you," his other half fires back before he sips deeply of the wine. A roll of his lips and after he considers the glass, his brows lift. "Not bad for attic-wine. So." He then steps around in order to claim his seat by dint of wine glass before it. A slice of bread is his, slathered heavily with butter, and then he sits on the table itself, free hand slung comfortably off his jean-pocket.

"Was thinking 'bout this last year or so. Tried to pick a favorite memory. 's'hard," he admits, dimpling to one side. "Figure…might be either your face when you realized we still had to have the first dance in front of everybody or…the flea 'nd tick drops. Remember tearing around the place because it tickled something fierce." He bites into his slice of bread and chews, smiling still.

"First dance might be it for me. Steve, I've been less afraid charging a machine gun nest than I was stepping out with you in front of all those people," he confesses, after a mouthful of wine. "But it was so nice. Like….once it was in all the pictures and the papers, it was like no one could ever say you weren't mine," he says. He wipes at his eyes with his napkin, hastily, coughs.

"I mean, all those years having to….having to pretend that i didn't like guys. Having to pretend that I wasn't head over heels for you since I was fourteen years old….."

It's enough to make Steve drop his gaze. His smile doesn't fade, but it blurs a little. When he glances up again, there's a light gloss to his own eyes.

"'s'amazing to consider, the odds…all the odds against us. Th'war 'nd then me going under 'nd you going under… Waking up here, in the twenty-first century 'nd then surviving long enough to find one another again? 's'a blessing. Makes me want to pinch myself some days, make sure 'm not dreaming." Bread with its bite seemingly forgotten, he continues leaning against the table, eyes on Barnes. "You're my compass north, Buck. Can't ever be lost without you."

Which has Bucky leaning over to pinch Steve, very gently, on the arm. "Nope. Not dreaming," he says, with a grin. Then he does it to himself….by pinching the shoulder of his right arm with his right hand. No point in pinching the metal arm, right? Whereupon he snags himself a piece of bread, chews a little. "Man, I'd never'a been me again, if you hadn't brought me back," he says, and his voice is thick. "Just their puppet…."

"Never gonna get back there again either. Never gonna let it happen. They'd have to remove me from the equation first 'nd…by the record so far, that's not gonna happen either." So gently and yet so firmly does the Captain say this. It rings like the shine of newly-forged steel. He does, however, then entirely ruin the moment by reaching up to rub at the pinch spot on his arm, affecting a theatrical wince.

"So rude, pinching a man, Buck," he mutters, then tsking before he hips off the table to brush past, smirking. More bread is consumed as he takes up a serving spoon and pokes at the lasagnas both. "Mmm, better at the table," comes the mumble as he then finds a cloth trivet and spins it with unerringly accuracy across the kitchen to land on the table. One of the lasagna pans is brought over along with the serving spoon and he gestures to Buck's chair, clearly intending to scoot him in like some maitre-d'.

Buck does not protest, for once. For all he generally can't abide fussing, today's a special occasion. If Steve wants to serve, he'll let him. He's seated, settling his napkin in his lap, smoothing a hand over his hair. It's still long, past his shoulders - ribbon-straight and glossy. "Like I used'a haveta when you'd fall asleep on me in the movies. Man, you used to do it to me even in camp, when we was watchin' the newsreels," he laughs. The accent of the kid from Brooklyn is stronger than ever.

Observe, the pinched brow of honor besmirched.

"A man's tired, a man's gonna take advantage of a nap." Bucky's plate is stolen and ladled with a heft serving of lasagna, still steaming in all its layering. Another two slices of bread are tucked onto it before Steve seems to remember something. "Hold up." There goes Bucky's plate into the kitchen with the Captain and he sets it aside to open up the fridge. Ah, a spinach-strawberry salad, and he returns with both plate and large wooden salad bowl already sporting serving utensils. Another gratifying serving of greenery on the plate and now Bucky's plate is returned to him.

"Me napping when I can is better'n me trying to cover for the time you told Private Chauncy he could repel the upper command with a crucifix if he believed hard enough." Steve just barely manages not to smile; his laughter is all over his face otherwise, twinkling in his true-blues. It had been his idea, after all: a nonchalant, sarcastic aside in true temporary loss of patience with the insufferable solider from a fellow platoon.

So, Steve delivers that reminder just exactly when Buck has a mouthful of wine….and he promptly chokes on it. Sputtering, coughing, pounding his chest with his hand after hastily setting the glass down….and turning pink. A little wheezing, before he can speak. "Oh, my god, that poor guy. The look on the General's face when he pulled that thing out," he says. "God rest his soul," Buck's wiping at his eyes again, but now it's from restrained hilarity, rather than sentiment. He blows out a breath, looks to his dinner. "I mean, fair enough, we were all burning the candle at both ends. But like….you were a lot better then than when were kids. It was like being leaned on by a draft horse when you nodded off on me."

Of course the half-inhalation of the wine and consequential wheezing sets off Steve in turn. His angelic facade breaks into a crinkling of pure delight and he laughs, the sound warm and bright and…absolutely unrepentant. At one point, even he has to take a knuckle to the corner of one eye and he sighs, his chuckling petering off.

"God, yeah, 'nd how Phillips just stood there until Chauncy put the crucifix away 'nd then walked off. Didn't say a word." It's enough to set him off a few more laughs before he shakes his head. "God rest his soul," the man agrees, only now dishing up for himself.

"Man's gotta nap when he can," insists Steve of using his fellow soldier as a bracing post. "Only happened a few times." More bread for him and a lump of greenery as well. "Phillips liked to bluster when he really got the wind up himself." Eyebrows lift. "Just was lucky enough to be towards the back when it became monotonous." A lift of his fork as if to inspire, 'who, me, ever saintly?' before he digs into the lasagna.

Buck is deliberately trying to savor things, rather than bolt it down like he's afraid he's about to have to go hide in a trench from a bomber overflight. "It's so nice to be here," he says, softly. "Warm and well-fed, with you alive and healthy." Tears again, if no more than a mist. "It was all I ever wanted, honest," he adds. A hard swallow that has nothing at all to do with getting down any of the lasagna, and then he adds, looking up from his plate, "Thank God, you're queer. If we'd survived all this and you couldn't stand the idea of sex with me, I'd've had to kill someone."

Steve, on the other hand, is eating at a steady pace. He glances up and his fork pauses in mid-cutting of the lasagna. A small, quirked smile and he reaches out with his other hand to set it upon Bucky's wrist.

"Figure love is something this country's based upon, even if it's slow to catch up 'nd realize it sometimes. I love you. 's'that simple. Nothing's gonna stop it." A squeeze of his hand reassures. "Like you said, whole world knows we belong to each other. It is nice to be here — here 'nd now, you 'nd me 'nd those bumbling goldfish who really did want a piece of that cupcake."

FUBAR and SNAFU get an apologetic glance. "Sorry, boys, you heard the man: soccer season coming up, can't be carb-loading."

"Right?" he says, looking down again, tears still starring his lashes. But he goes back to eating, taking each bite neatly. "I mean, true," he says. "Man, I'll have to get them extra flakes or something to make up for it." A glance at the fish, who are their usual oblivious, cheerfully bulbous selves. "Yeah, just think if they'd missed their chance at a championship 'cause of *you*," he says, mock-accusingly, poking at Steve with a fork.

"Would've been all my fault too. That cupcake's a real gem. Pretty dense." Steve smiles to himself even as he takes up some of his bread to scoot and sop up lasagna onto his fork. "'s'more behind the bread box. Bought one, tried it, needed a dozen. They're from Ladybird Bakery, just down the way. You know them? They did the desserts for the wedding's after-party," he reminds his other half. "Gave me a discount on 'em…nearly tried to hand the box to me for free, but I couldn't let it happen. Rather pay for it since they put the work in."

He'd pinched out the candle's flame on the little taper stuck into the frosting, but fully intends to relight it later.

"Figure what, a little dancing after dinner too? In the living room?" Just a touch bashfully, Steve asks after this.

"Sure," Buck says, serenely, having regained at least some of his composure. "I'd like that. I got us a new record - turns out there's more by that guy who does that….I guess it's still swing. Parov Stelar." He snorts at Steve. "I know you," he says, "You'll never take anything for free."

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